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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 29, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm PST

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retire and see the world. alex -- buy a mcdonald's and a walmart, save what are is left over. henrick -- i would buy an airplane company to keep money flowing through a successful business. or buy stocks and move to a nice condo in manhattan and start my dream as a doctor. that does it for me today. "cnn newsroom" continues right now with natalie allen. >> thanks so much. s:00. we have a very busy hour ahead. blink and you will mitt the republican candidates for president as they speed across iowa. but with ks now just five days away, where the candidates are going isn't half as important as where their poll numbers are going. suddenly after months in the bottom tier, rick santorum is making a major move and so is newt gingrich -- but in the other direction.
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santorum, gingrich, ron paul, rick perry and mitt romney all have campaign events this hour and we will dip in and listen in where we can. speaking of moving, michele bachmann's campaign is moving on without the former chairman of its iowa operations. he left to work for ron paul and bachmann claims she knows why. >> i had a conversation with kent sorenson. in the direct conversation i had with him he told me that he was offered money. he was offered a lot of money by the ron paul campaign to go and associate with the ron paul campaign. no one else knows about that conversation other than kent sorenson and myself and i know what he said to me about that. >> what does sorenson say? stick around. in just a few minutes he will join me live to explain himself. it is his first tv interview since he changed camps. don't miss it. poll numbers have not been especially encouraging to
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president obama but the pew hispanic center finds by more than a margin 2-1 they favor the president over mitt romney or rick perry, despite the fact they don't approve of increased deportations on the president's watch. hispanics are the fastest population group in the country and a major voting bloc. arab league monitors on the ground in syria have failed to stop deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. opposition activists say more than 30 protesters were killed across the country today. in the damascus suburb of douma, security forces fired at demonstrators gathering in the grand mosque as the monitors arrived in the city killing at least 13. the monitors came in after
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president assad agreed to the monitors. the u.n. says more than 5,000 civilians have died in ten months of unrest. the obama administration says it will do whatever is necessary to keep open the vital oil route of the strait of hormuz. iran threatens to block the strait which links the gulf to the indian ocean. about 40% of the world's oil passes through it. the threat came after the european union and u.s. separately decided to tighten sanctions on iran over its nuclear program. iran is conducting naval exercise in the eastern part of the strait. it briefly pushed up international oil prices. a judge's ruling in arizona could cost public schools in tucson millions of dollars a year. an administer law judge says the district's mexican-american studies program violates a new law prohibiting divisive ethnic studies classes. it is an issue that's upset a
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lot of people. the judge says the program presents latino history and culture in a biased political and emotionally charged manner. some district board members aren't sure what their next step will be. >> at this point we will review the direction of the administrative law judge and we believe that we are in compliance of this law. >> the ruling upheld a prior decision by the state school superintendent to shut down the program. bp faces hundreds of lawsuits over the deepwater horizon disaster and criminal charges may be on the way. the "wall street journal" reports federal prosecutors are building a case against several bp. engineers and at least one supervisor who allegedly may have lied to regulators about the risks involved in the well that plu blew up.
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the company's already been fined for safety violations. neither bp or the feds are commenting on the report. in new orleans, about 40 vehicles were involved in this deadly pile-up on interstate 10 early this morning. police say two people were killed, more than 50 injured. 22 were taken to area hospitals. there was heavy fog in the area at the time of the accident. both eastbound and westbound lanes were closed. do you believe in angels? ben made the most out of life after cheating death three times and with messages of hope like this one, he became an internet sensation inspiring thousands. we will share part of ben's last message with you right after the break. but first, it doesn't always take a village. sometimes it takes a metropolis. two weeks before christmas a decorated new york police officer was gunned down while trying to stop a robbery. he left four daughters, two of whom are in college. the others are in high school.
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new yorkers have now given $1.6 million to pay for their education. to a city that is sometimes seen as cold and uncaring, we say, all of you who stepped up to honor a hero to help out a family you never knew, you're today's rock stars. ♪ you're simply the best ♪ better than all the rest ♪ s ♪ better than anyone by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ [ female announcer ] you use the healing power of touch every day. the healing power of touch can be even more powerful. with precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving cream works quickly to activate sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals fast
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aspercreme breaks the grip, with maximum-strength medicine and no embarrassing odor. break the grip of pain with aspercreme. . afternoon in austin, texas, family and friends of ben breedlove will gather to remember a young man none of them will ever forget. you may know ben yourself through the videos he liked to post on youtube. he was handsome, well liked and
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sick. born with heart condition that ended his life christmas night. he was 18 years old. exactly one week earlier ben sat before a camera one last time an left us all a story. a message that he thought we should hold on to. it's ben's story and he told it without ever speaking a word. i wish we could play it all but here's one bit of it describing the first of three times ben says he cheated death. he had suffered a seizure at age 4.
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>> ben breedlove, the power of silence and wonderful words. ben closes by asking do you believe in angels or god? his final card says, i do. as 2011 comes to an end, many of you may be thinking about making a donation to charity. what if we told you that only 37 cents of each $1 you give actually goes to the organization? find out who's getting the rest next.
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as promised, we're keeping a close watch on all of the republican presidential candidates as they make their way around the state of iowa. there's rick santorum right there. he's just started a live event in muscatine, iowa. we'll monitor what he's saying this hour and bring that to you in just a little bit. as the year comes to an end and many of you donating a charity -- consider more of your money may be going to telemarketer than the charity themselves. while new yorkers gave $36 million more in 2010 than 2009, charities only added an additional $3 million to their bottom line. last year new yorkers donated
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more than $249 million to charities through telemarketing campaigns. the professional fund-raisers' cut -- $157 million. that left just $92 million going to charities. susan hager is president of the u nig united way of new york state. charity got 42 cents of every $1 donated a year ago. >> these numbers trouble us. we have to congratulate the attorney general for doing this report and raising these very important issues. for one thing it is important to understand that this is not all charitable giving. these are charities, 411 of them that chose telemarketers that raise their money. it is very troubling that over a ten-year period this is the trend that such a small percentage of the money actually goes to charities. in fact, 77% of the time the
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report shows charities receive less than 50% of the money and 40% of the time they receive less than 30% of the money. 61 charities actually didn't receive any money. >> oh, that's a shame. that really hurts the giving process, doesn't it? when people hear things like this? >> well, that's the other problem with the report. it's good to warn donors, it is good for media to cover it. we thank cnn for the coverage. but it may have an effect we don't want to see which is to discourage people from giving to legitimate charities and this is the wrong time for that message to be sent. here in new york state we were devastated by hurricane irene, tropical storm lee at the end of august and early september. we've had thousands of families that need our help so i would urge donors who are out there to think very carefully and to make sure that they direct their gifts to o legitimate charities. >> how are profession a fund
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razors able to keep so much of that money? aren't there rules in place to prevent gouging? >> the current set of rules rely on reports such as these. it relies on transparency and sunshine. it assumes the donor will be informed and do their homework. unfortunately, that's not always the case. there has been some reluctance to legislate or make rules about the percentage of funds that a charity can keep, in part because who would determine what's the right amount. is 20% enough. 30%. 40%. so decision makers, policymakers have come down on the side of making sure donors know about this and reports such as attorney general sniderman's is a great help in that direction. but i would like donors to be very cautious of how they make that charitable gift in the future. >> is there any more safety in giving through social net working than a telemarketer?
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>> not necessarily. so here are the ideas that i would suggest for donors who want to give. the most important thing they should do is they shall ask questions. whether they're approached over the telephone, via e-mail or someone coming to their door. they need to ask how the donation is going to be used. very specifically. and if they're going asked for a second time because they gave last year, they should ask how was last year's gift used. here in new york, we just had a very significant donation from verizon to help us assist those families who are affected by the hurricane. verizon was on the phone for me for a very long time asking about the guidelines, how was the money going to be used and held. if you're called on the telephone, specific ask the clarity to send you additional information in the mail. charities thrive -- legitimate charities thrive on that kind of transparency and if someone is reluctant to do that for you, then you really need to steer clear of that one. >> great advice. >> you should not give your credit card number over the
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telephone unless you know who you're speaking with and the same goes of e-mail, social networking or texting. again, unless you know that charity, you've dealt with them before, you should be cautious. >> great advice. we really appreciate it, susan hager, president of united way of new york. here's how to vet charities before doling out your dollars. in new york, the attorney general's website is charitiesnys.com. for all 50 states, hln's consumer expert clark howard recommends charitynavigator.org and give.org. sounds like a scene out of a hollywood horror movie. a man dressed as santa claus allegedly opens fire on his entire family on christmas day. now for the first time, we're hearing the chilling 911 call he made. >> you need an ambulance or
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police? hello? >> more of that call next. it's water from the drinking fountain at the mall. [ male announcer ] great tasting tap water can come from any faucet anywhere. the brita bottle with the filter inside.
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just a short time ago, a man accused of shooting and paralyzing a u.s. soldier at a homecoming party appeared on court in california and that tops today's crime and consequence. ruben ray gerardo pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing, charged with attempted murder. sullivan was awarded a purple heart for injuries suffered during a suicide bombing in afghanistan. five members of sullivan's unit died in the attack. in texas, chilling words from a gunman made clear in an enhanced recording of a 911 call. he whispered to the police
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dispatcher, "i am shooting people." take a listen. >> hello. grapevine 911. you need help? are you sick? what was that? do you need an ambulance or police? hello. one moment. >> police say the man shown here in this family photo shot and killed his estranged wife, two of his own children and three other family members before turning the gun on himself. the horrific attack happened christmas day in the dallas suburb of grapevine. police say the shooter was dressed as santa claus. the family had apparently just finished opening christmas presents when they were killed. a new poll shows mitt romney leading the pack in iowa and
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newt gingrich taking a back seat. you will never guess who's number three. is this just another case of rotating front-runners or does romney really have a shot of winning this week is this that is "fair game" and it is next. plus, the advisor who left michele bachmann's camp to join ron paul is telling his side of the story, kent sorenson joins us live next. don't miss this. but first, today's question for all you political junkies throughout. how many of us -- members of the media, that is -- are expected to flood of streets of met crow iowa to cover tuesday's republican caucuses? 850, 1,500 or 3,000? find out right after the break.
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before the break i asked, how many members of the media are expected to flood the streets of iowa to cover the republican caucuses? according to the "des moines register" -- 1,500 of us. that's far fewer than the 2,500 who were there in 2008 when the republican and democrat races were in play. thanks to all the media who are
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there covering it. we have these three live pictures up of three campaign events. rick santorum is in iowa. newt gingrich is about to take to the podium there in the center of your stream. and mitt romney is in mason city, iowa. we are certainly learning all the names of the towns in iowa as well. we'll monitor all these events and bring you clips from them as we hear from the candidates. speaking of iowa -- i hope you are sitting down when you hear the latest numbers from iowa, you may be shocked. this be brand-new cnn/"time"/orc poll for choice for nominee. newt gingrich has faded, mitt romney is on top. followed closely by ron paul. rick santorum has surged into the top three. with just five days to go before the caucuses, it is looking like a brand-new ball game and it is all fair game today right here. let me bring in republican
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strategist ron bonjean and cnn political analyst roland martin. rick santorum's climb in the polls was described yesterday to wolf blitzer. >> it is like any small business person, if the money's not coming in, you just have to work hearder. we're up in the morning doing radio shows at 6:00 in the morning here, going until 9:00, 10:00 at night, town meeting after town meeting. 357 town hall meetings i've done in the state of iowa. hard work pays off. >> are santorum's efforts paying off are they just another before the candidate gets his 15 minutes before falling? >> bottom line, i've always said from day one, nobody's been paying attention to this race part of december. we spend a lot of time with these polls, who's up, who's down. frankly be average voter does in the give a damn.
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all of a sudden a week out everybody's paying attention. it is no shock you are seeing this movement in the polls. more than 50% of gop voters hadn't made their mind up. santorum has put all of his efforts in iowa so it is no surprise he's seeing this kind of movement. i think we'll see even more back and forth leading up to tuesday. so it is no shock. >> ron, do you agree now that folks are putting away the christmas tree they are starting to pay more attention? >> absolutely right. the media's covering it 24/7. you just showed three events on the screen. i think for santorum it is a life lesson. part of being successful is just showing up in life and in politics. he's visited all 99 counties. he's held countless town meetings. i think what you are seeing is voters who are walking away from newt gingrich because of the negative attack ads and exposure he's had. i think gingrich surged a little bit too early. and it is from voters that still can't get to mitt romney just yet. they still can't vote for him. however, i think roland's
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right -- 43% of iowa republican voters still could change their minds and there's a lot of time left on the clock. even though it seems just like a few days, that's forever in politics. >> you're absolutely right. that's a lot of towns all across iowa. i have to ask, as far as santorum, all of the time that he's spent in iowa, will that hurt him in his chances immediately down the road? >> i think it will. >> no, this is what you're supposed to do. it is the first state. one person who's probably sick to his stomach is tim pawlenty because he was operating from conventional wisdom, i don't do well in the ames, iowa straw poll so all of a sudden i drop out of the race. we have seen what's happened with santorum, with herman cain, with gingrich, when you don't have the big money behind you, the game is changed. you said yourself, 2,500 journalists in iowa four years ago. 1,500 today. the internet has changed the
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game. cable television has changed it. you aren't running conventional races like you used to. but santorum has put boots on ground and he's seeing results. >> can gingrich do anything to surge sghak. >> he set the expect ace out early that he was going to win iowa. think it was a huge mistake. second one was not responding to these negative attack ads right away. we saw that back lessons past like john kerry, for example. you have to respond to these attacks or else they define you. if you're the candidate, you think people know who i am. no, they don't necessarily and you have to fight back. >> one more question to both of you. defection from michele bachmann to ron paul by the head of the campaign staffer there, we are about to talk with him so i want your thoughts on that. start with you, roland. >> look, had is no surprise.
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you see this in iowa all the time and, look. you want to jump on the bandwagon of winners. of course the whole accusation in terms of did he get paid for it, let's just be honest. it's not like money doesn't flow around iowa or other states as well. git sounds pretty nutty to be at a michele bachmann rally, then show up at a ron paul rally later on. but we've seen this historically where politicians play for -- play to -- for favors and stuff. understand, a caucus is different from a traditional primary. you can have fortunes change in the room. if you're ron paul, absolutely picking up somebody like this is a good thing for you. but that's iowa so it is no shock. . >> i'd say if he's stuck with bachmann, bachmann is a sinking ship right now in iowa. she's not doing very well. it is understandable he was looking to find a new campaign
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it is rather surprising where he's going but at the same time it is likely paul will place in the top three at this point. >> stand by. instead of talking about him, let's talk with him. we'll come back to you in a minute. if you haven't been following the gop presidential race, now is a good time to start, of course the iowa caucuses five days away and the polls are as slippery as ever, of course. a candidate who's had her share of ups and downs is lashing out at the top aide. we are talking about who jumped ship. here again, michele bachmann's version of kent sorenson's defection. >> i had a conversation with kent sorenson and in the direct conversation that i had with him he told me that he was offered money. he was offered a lot of money by the ron paul campaign to go and associate with the ron paul campaign. no one else knows about that conversation other than kent sorenson and myself and i know what he said to me about that.
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>> sorenson had been the chairman of bork machmann's operations. they say you're a sellout, sfru. >> absolutely not, natalie. that conversation never happened and as much respect as i have for michelle, the fact of the matter is it just didn't happen. think it is unfortunate they're resorting to these type of tactics. >> so why did you switch and why now? >> well, i think we have a real clear opportunity here to defeat mitt romney and when we're -- when you're looking at the polling that we were seeing, both internally and what we're seeing released throughout the various media outlets, i think it was very clear thae that it came down to a race of the two top tier candidates, mitt romney and ron paul and i believe it is my duty both to my family and to my state to ensure that somebody like mitt romney does not walk away in iowa as a victory.
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>> you are a state senator. is this how politics kind of works in iowa. >> i'm doing this as an individual citizen. i am a state senator and i'm not sure this is how politics works. the fact of the matter is i make tough decisions every day. i'm willing to be scrutinized for those decisions. i believe this is the right decision. i believe when we see polls coming back where it is a two-point race between mitt romney and ron paul, i believe that we have to make a tough decision. i love michele bachmann, i love her family, i think they're fantastic people, i think it's unfortunate they've resorted to these type of tactics. but the fact of the matter is she wasn't going to win iowa. i believe we had to make a clear shois and i believe it was my duty to my family and to my state to make sure that we aren't electing a fushl socialist like mitt romney. >> do you worry this will hurt your own prospects as a campaign organizer now? >> well, in all honesty, listen.
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three years ago i owned a jan sorial company. i never planned on getting into politics. i did it because i wanted to stand up for stuff i believe in for issues that are important to me. the fact of the matter is if i lose credibility or i lose the race because of this, my next race because of thisfy decide to run, i'm fine with that as long as mitt romney's defeated in iowa. >> stand by, kent. we were just interviewing ron bonjean, a republican strategist. he's been listening in and he has a question for you. ron? >> not necessarily a question. no. i just think it is fascinating that you made the decision to go to ron paul. why did you make the decision to go to ron paul instead of something like rick santorum? >> well, it's very easy. obviously you guys are not in iowa. in 2008 when i was running for the iowa house, no one came to my aid. the republican establishment said i didn't have a shot, there was no way i was going to win.
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one group that came forward and help me get to the top was people on the ron paul campaign. when i was going into my 2010 senate race, it was a very tough race and i can't think of anybody that helped me author the ron paul people. ron paul himself came out and did three fund-raisers for me and leading up to the race to election day. door knocked for me. they lid dropped for me. they were the most dedicated campaign volunteers i had. when i was going into this decision, i started dealing with michele bachmann in february, well before she was announced candidate. she approached me, asked me if i would be interested in coming on-board with her. she decided to run for president. i was told that she was planning on doing that. i made a phone call to the ron paul campaign. i asked them what his intentions were. at that time they didn't know if he was going to run or not. they couldn't give me a definite answer. a week or two goes by and i decided to join up with michele bachma
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bachmann. now when i'm looking at this current race and current status of the race, think it is very clear that they came to my aid when he was in a tough race and now i'm coming to their aid and i believe it is the right thing to do. >> well, what if ron paul starts to slide. is there a chance you could switch again? are you sticking with him? >> no, i'm sticking with him. i'm sticking with him. listen, we have four days left here in iowa. i believe that the caucus process in iowa has worked itself out. i believe that ron paul has run a textbook campaign in iowa. he spent time here. he's invested in iowa. he's invested in all 99 counties and i believe that iowaens are going to reward him next week with a victory. >> did if feel at all awkward all of a sudden leaving bachmann and showing up at a ron paul event at the microphone? >> here's something else i want to make clear. i heard you guys talking beforehand i was at a bachmann
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event earlier in the day. that happened to be at a hometown that i represent. i attended the event because it was in my district, just like -- just like i attended a ron paul event there and month earlier. if any presidential candidate invites me to attend an event in my district, i definitely do that. i even would have attended probably a mitt romney event, but unfortunately, he decided not come to our area. and ron paul has invested time and effort and i believe he needs to be rewarded for that. but it wasn't -- it was awkward because i had friends on both sides. but when i came over to the ron paul campaign, it wasn't like i was going into a group of people i wasn't familiar with. these were people that had volunteered for me, people that door knocked for me, people that donated to my campaign, people that came and helped organize my campaign, and so i mean i felt like i was coming back to part of my family. >> we appreciate your time coming on and talking with us about your decision, kent sorenson was with bachmann, now with ron paul. of course, ron bonjean, as well, thank you for being with us, a
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republican strategist. thank you. michele bachmann will respond live in "the situation room" with wolf blitzer tonight 5:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. hear what she has to say to wolf about this happening with her campaign just five days out. an 8-year-old girl has become the face of the ugly battle over religious extremism in israel. the mere thought of walking to school terrifies this little girl but today just hours ago a big change occurred. her story coming up. but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth! it's me? alright emma, i know it's not your favorite but it's time for your medicine, okay? you ready?
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all she wanted to do was walk to her elementary school with her mom. what actually happened was shocking and terrifying. ultra orthodox jewish men shouted at the 8-year-old, spit on her and called her a prostitute, all because they didn't approve of her very modest dress. >> i'm scared. >> well just walk a little bit. okay? >> no! >> you can hear her crying there. the second-grader totally beyond her control has become the center now of the latest fight over religious extremism in israel. she became a house hole name after her story was told on an israel television program last friday. critics say elements at the
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traul orthodox community are trying to impose its strict religious beliefs on the entire country. it is a fight that often spills into the streets. many israelis believe the struggle could eventually change the entire social fabric of the country unless the extremists are stopped. our jerusalem bureau chief kevin flower has been closely following the story. kevin, we thank you for joining us. there was some good news today for her when she went to school. tell us about that. >> reporter: well, that's right. it was a totally different scene from that dramatic video you saw before of her crying. today she and her mother walked to school amidsters, was med by the education minister and members of parliament who listened to her story and listened to the story of other children in her class
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who expressed fears about having to walk to school under those conditions where they are being assaulted verbally and spit on by extreme members of the ultra orthodox community. so clearly that is something that did not happen today and they do not expect to go on in the future. >> it is hard to believe a little girl like that could be picked on. in her little purple sweater and purple backpack. does it involve the entire ultra orthodox community? >> well, no, it doesn't. it really involves a small, very extreme minority of the ultra orthodox community. but this is a minority that makes its feelings and its wants known. in this particular town, a town outside of jerusalem, it was a small group of these men who were involved in this activity
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but it was widespread. this was something that would happen not only with school children, it would happen with women walking down the street and not dressed properly. lots of anecdotes by the residents of feeling indtimidatd by this small group of ultra orthodox men. this community makes up only 10% of the population but again this group of radicals, a fairly small part of that. >> they're a small part but they can certainly have a loud choice when they reach antics like they have. have they been becoming more vocal? >> well, absolutely. there are two parts to the story. the actions of this small minority, it is not new, but at this point it is gaining a lot more attention amid fears their fumt sort of view of religion is spreading and that they're
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trying to force it down the throats of normal israels or less orthodox, less religious israelis. that is what we've been seeing a lot of attention being paid to recently and it extends to the segregation of public buses, here in jerusalem and some other cities, posters or advertisements with women are sometimes blacked out, torn down in ultra orthodox communities, even in some government functions women are not allowed to sing. there are been controversied over military events and municipal events where women have not been allowed to sing for fear of ale enterating or angering ultra orthodox in the community. so there is a lot of questions going on here about the power of the ultra orthodox community and whether they have too much power in making these societal conditions. >> hopefully this little girl can walk quietly to class in the near future as you say.
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it has been stopped. thank you, kevin flower for us in israel. again we are watching closely the candidates blanket the state of iowa right now. mitt romney talking with voters in mason city about the jobs and economy. we're watching three events right now, rick santorum has been going now for close to 47 minutes. and we should be hearing from newt gingrich soon. we'll continue to dip in and we'll be listening to them and bringing you their comments as we push on. stay with us. [ male announcer ] the more you lose, the more you lose, because for every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise,
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the sounds of that massive tsunami after a powerful earthquake hit japan in march. it crippled a nuclear power plant creating radiation fears. that wasn't the only big medical story in the headlines in 2011. the world health organization raised new fears issuing warnings of possible cancer risks from cell phones. and that's not all. put down your phone and get ready for the top medical stories of 2011. here's dr. sanjay gupta.
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>> january 8th, gunfire at a campaign event for gabrielle giffords. six people are killed. >> is anyone injured? did you say gabrielle giffords was hit? >> she's hit. >> reporter: the congresswoman is shot in the head but survives. >> she was exceedingly lucky. when i saw the electra jektdry of where one hole was and where the other hole was, i was like oh, my gosh. however -- >> because it was so far apart? >> yeah, it went through a lot. >> three and a half months later, the first public steps in the congresswoman's remarkable recovery. in 2011 i tried to put a spotlight on big hits in the brain. finding growing evidence that football puts young people at risk. in february, david doerson
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committed suicide and left his brain to science for research. his brain showed tell tale signs of injury. march i witnessed the aftermath of an astonishing disaster in japan. >> dumped right here in the middle of the street. >> our first hours on the ground were scary. we are going to it move at this point. these are official warnings. there was no tsunami, we were safe. the district around fukushima will be unlivable for years to come. in may the world health organization said cell phones might cause brain cancer. brain scans can actually spot the impact of radiation from phones. and some studies found a cancer link. doesn't mean cell phones are dangerous, but to be on the safe side i say, use an ear piece.
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july brought questions of cancer in 9/11, just ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. there's not strong evidence connecting dust from the fallen twin towers and cancer. first responders with cancer would not receive special compensati compensation. just a month later a big study of new york firefighters found the exact opposite. >> we found a 19% increase in all cancers in our exposed fire fighters as opposed to our nonexposed firefighters. >> the decision could be reversed on compensation. and the psa test to detect prostate cancer. a test undergone by millions of men each year. the psa test just isn't worth it. and then november, exciting news of a stem cell breakthrough. two studies using infusions of a patient's own stem cells, one found the cells could regrow
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dead heart tissue, once thought to be impossible. the cells could reverse heart failure. five days out and it's looking like a two-man race. here we have another live picture. this is from a mitt romney event going on right now. we are on the ground in the hawkeye state next.
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now to the presidential caucuses in iowa, the
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mark, rick santorum made the incredible jump into third place according to the brand new poll. how did he do it? >> well, i don't think anyone is as surprised as rick santorum was when those numbers came out late yesterday afternoon. he was very surprised. but he does say it comes down to good old fashioned campaigning. let's hear what he said a couple hours ago about his newfound rise in the polls. >> iowa provides the spark. there's plenty of tinder on the ground that will start burning in these other states. and if we become the clear alternative as i hope we will be in the caucus, the conservative alternative to mitt romney, there will be a loot of folks who will ramally to our side in new hampshire. i believe we'll have a strong showing there. >> there's got to be some truth to that. i was with rick santorum in des
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moines in june 2010. no other candidate was here, except for ron paul, who's also doing well in the polls. rick santorum is showing that going out and campaigning and meeting people is the way to do it. >> with the rise of santorum -- >> he's plummeting in our poll 19 points from earlier this month. has he been lowering his expectations in iowa the last week or two? it seems that way. take a listen to what he said an hour or two ago? >> will you stay in the race? >> sure. that would -- >> so there are more than three -- >> it depends what happens, what the margins are. >> considering i'm 20 points ahead, it will be fairly foolish not to stay in the race. it's a long way from here to picking -- >> gingrich is still pretty confident is that he'll do well in south carolina and florida, the states are third and fourth. >> paul steinhauser.
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don't sleep in the next five days, the polls could change again. that's it for me today, i'm natalie allen, thank you for watching. newsroom continues right now with isha sesay. let's catch you up on everything making news this hour, rapid fire. let's go. the obama administration is digging in its heels vowing to do what it must to keep the strait of hormuz open. iran isn't backing down either, saying it will do what it sees fit for its defense. earlier this week, iran's vice president threatened to block the straight if sanctions are imposed on crude oil exports. two people were killed in a massive pileup on i-10 in new orleans earlier today. at least 22 others were taken to the hospital. some 40 cars and trucks were involved in the crash which occurred in thick fog. for the second day in a row, we are reporting on a gruesome murder of an american traveling
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in mexico. the body of 18-year-old alex maron was found charred in the back of a car. friends are reacting. >> daniela remembers her cousin as a full of life 18-year-old with an easy smile. >> always smiling, happy. he enjoyed life. >> the high school senior played football and was involved in gymnastics at their high school in suburban chicago. they were often together. he took a holiday trip to the mexican state of michoacan. a vacation that would be his last. >> we'll have more on that story a little later. he was in mexico visiting his grandmother. a dramatic youtube video of fighting in syria.
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activists report nearly three dozen people dead today alone. monitors find out from homs, the e epicenter. killings are reported in all the regions they visited. federal prosecutors are preparing for what would be the first criminal charges against bp employees stemming from the deepwater horizon explosion. according to the journal, government lawyers are focusing on whether bp engineers gave false statements to regulators about the risks associated with drilling. a veteran marine who avoided being wounded in afghanistan and iraq was shot three times in a robbery in south florida. he managed to plug his wounds with his fingers to stop the blood flow until help arrived. the good news, he is doing okay
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n now. >> i've been shot multiple times in afghanistan. and here i am in florida. >> he's expected to make a full recovery. the man accused of shooting and paralyzing a u.s. army soldier at a homecoming party in california just pleaded not guilty. rubin horado is charged with attempted murder in the friday night shooting of army specialist christopher sullivan. the san bernardino county d.a.'s office added premeditation and the use of a firearm. special allegations can increase a sentence upon conviction. p the united states is selling 84 new f-15 fighter jets to saudi arabia. the deal comes at a time of rising tensions with iran. and it reinforces the u.s. commitment to strong saudi defense. it also says a $30 billion deal will support over 50,000 american jobs. so here's a question.
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why would anyone bring a gun to one of the most secure sites in new york city. the 9/11 memorial. the new york post reports a tourist from tennessee thought it was okay. she even asked a cop if she could check her weapon as soon as she saw a no gun's side. she didn't realize a loaded pistol if her purse would be a problem. saturday night, millions of people will be in times square, new york city for the big new year's eve celebration. the huge ball that drops at midnight has been secured into place with more than 30,000 lights. the city just dropped test confetti on times square this afternoon. they're testing the air to make sure it's safe when one ton is dropped on new year's eve. anderson cooper will be live from times square along with kathy griffin and yours truly. that's right here on cnn. we've got a lot more to
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coverer in the next two hours. there's a delicate balancing act playing out between the u.s. and iran. >> any miscalculation could mean that we're drawn into conflict. and that would be a tragedy for the region and the world. >> today we ask would sanctions against iran actually backfire on the u.s. then someone's pointing dangerous laser lights at planes around a busy airport. which candidate should president obama fear the most. >> i think the obama administration fears us the most. >> joe johns is on the trail. are people buying their way into the u.s.? >> we have over 500 investors from 56 countries. >> an investor puts up cash and gets a green card. a deal that creates jobs for americans. the news starts now.
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aspercreme breaks the grip, with maximum-strength medicine and no embarrassing odor. break the grip of pain with aspercreme. is it you've noticed a spike at the gas pump, it's probably linked to iran. they're vowing to block oil shipments from the persian gulf. the big news today out of washington is the white house announcing a major weapons sale to saudi arabia. $30 billion worth of f-15s. if the threat by iran shakes world petroleum markets, saudi arabia is one of the country that is might be asked to start pumping more oil. the pentagon is warning iran not to follow through on its
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military threat. also keep in mind the u.s. navy is keeping a close eye on iranian war games being staged right now outside of the strait of hormuz. joining us now an international professor at tufts university. you write in your article today that we're watching, effectively a new phase of the west's attempt to stop iran's nuclear weapons program. and that it's more dangerous, how so? >> because the administration decided to opt for new top sanctions in order to get iran to stop its nuclear enrichment program, rather than stopping the program, iran is now threatening retaliation by cutting off the flow of oil from the persian gulf. that would put the united states in a position of having to resort to some form of military action to break an iranian blockade if the iranians go through with that. >> it's not the first time we've
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seen and heard this from iran, though? >> yes, but this time it's a bit more serious, largely because the sanctions that the united states wants to place on iran would really hurt the iranian economy. they will severely cut into iran's oil revenue, therefore, the iranian government feels its back is to the wall and it's more likely to go through with its saber rattling this time than other times. the stakes are higher this time. >> what do you think about these economic sanctions being proposed and pursued by the u.s.? ultimately, is it the right calculation? if ultimately what it leads to is conflict, military action, possibly? >> well, the administration has opted for sanctions instead of using military strikes on iranian nuclear sites. it thought that by putting pressure on iran, you you would bring iranians to the table. right now they're acting in ways that makes military conflict
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more likely rather than less likely. i think the administration has to compliment pressure with a road map to serious negotiations. otherwise we would be in an escalation situation with iran which would get us to a conflict which we're trying to avoid in the first place. >> what is going on on the ground with iran is important. what is your read on the ground in terms of the political dynamic and ahmadinejad's position in the landscape? >> his power has been seriously weakened over the last two years. iran is going into a cycle of elections for parliament and presidency in the next two years. there is in fighting between the leaders, but the economy has got a lot worse because of the previous sanctions, there's more inflation, more unemployment, and fear in iran that new sanctions will actually accentuate the political tensions and the iranian government is worried about
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that, that's why they're acting so tough. >> talk to me about your thoughts on the news we're getting today about the weapons sales to saudi arabia. do you see them playing into this delicate diplomatic dance so to speak? >> well, to some extent, yes. the sale would give a lot of confidence to the arab countries in the persian gulf at a critical time. we've seen this before, every time there is eiranian stabilization rattling, it would not be arab country that is would break the blockade, it would have to be the united states. >> with that in mind, can the u.s. count on the support of arab nations in the the region for such a move? >> it's the only way arrange, they are relying on the united states to do the he heavy lifting. most of this arms sales is confidence building in the persian gulf area. but we really cannot rewli ly oe
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arab governments. >> i suppose the point i was trying to make is, what it means in terms of getting that support woulding good for the optics, right? >> absolutely. and they need to provide us with bases, with all sorts of financial assistance if it comes to a conflict. their roll is important, but largely their roll is supported, and, therefore, the consideration of how to react to the iranian threat comes down to the united states. >> always great insider perspective, appreciate you joining us today. thank you so much. you can read much more of nasa's piece on cnn.com. now, a man dressed as santa claus called 911 from a texas apartment. he whispered the words, i'm shooting people. find out what else he told the 911 operator after this quick break. you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own.
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a man dressed as santa claus calls 911, asks for help and then says, i'm shooting people. that was a tragic situation in a suburban dallas apartment on christmas day. seven people were killed. david, i understand that we're getting more information from these 911 staps? >> that's right. police have had these tapes, they've listened to them over and over and over again, wasn't until they were able to use some new software, where they were able to hear the complete things that the killer was saying on this tape. they believe it's the voice of aziz as he made this 911 call after he killed his family and shortly before he killed himself. let's listen. >> hello, grapevine 911?
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you need help? are you sick? what was that? do you need an ambulance or poli police? hello? one moment. >> we really have no idea. police aren't saying why he may have been trying to make that 911 call after he killed his family. his estranged wife, teenaged daughter, teenaged son and then three of his in-laws, he was trying to cover-up his crime, cover-up these murders, because they knew he had two handguns that he used to kill his family with. one of those handguns they found in the hand of his brother-in-law, they knew the brother-in-law wasn't involve in the shooting, because bullets from both of these guns were found in the brother-in-law's body. they knew this was from the same
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gunman, it was from aziz, and now they're just wondering why this all took place. because he was welcome into this home. they were sell operating christmas day. >> they had just opened christmas gifts, right? >> the daughter had tweeted out something about her father trying to be father of the year, in a snarky teenaged way. this came as a complete surprise. >> we are aware of details regarding his financial situation, is that correct? it hasn't been established how that ties into this, what do we know about foreclosures and financial difficulties. >> nothing that would lead up to a violent act like this, he very calmly and methodically went around and shot everyone in the apartment in the head. this was while they were opening gifts. he killed his ex-wife, his own children, and then his sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their child. what sort of financial problems do you have to have to be a motive for this. this family was not to blame for
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any problems he may have been having. so many questions. and that 911 tape, they were only able to hear that little part about, i'm killing people at the end that they had not been able to hear before until they got that software. this is something that there may never be any true answers. how do you explain this kind of terrible violence? >> i'm sure it's shaken the local community. >> this community was known to be so safe. this is the worst crime in their history, people saying, hundreds came out to mourn the loss of their family, including so many young people, who knew the young people killed in these murders. absolutely devistating for everyone who knew these families. and for -- who lived in that area. >> this is very sad. david, thank you. republican presidential candidate rick santorum makes a big jump in our new poll. he holds third place in iowa. why and how?
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joe johns joins us from iowa. a former american marine is on trial right now in iran for spying. he confessed to the crimes and now his mother is speaking out. saying that his confession was coerced. is it because taking a step represents hope? or triumph? at genworth, we believe in taking small steps every day to keep your promises, protect what matters, and prepare for a secure financial future. no matter where you want to go, one step at a time is the only way to get there. go to genworth.com/promises.
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>> reporter: he really is, isha, there is no other way to put it. the new poll that came out showing him the front-runner. the former massachusetts governor just said in this room behind me, he's only visited this state eight times leading up to the iowa caucuses. when you think about that, get your mind around the fact that he's visited the state a half a dozen times and he's in the lead when others have visited every county in this state, it's quite a feat. i should tell you where we are right now. we're inside a museum that is dedicated to the musical, "the music man," mitt romney just a few moments ago, made reference to it saying, he feels so good right now, he could sing "76 trombones" or something, i'm probably butchering that line. but he made a reference to the film. that shows you you the confidence he's feeling right
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now. he's having a good week. >> let me ask you this. what is your sense as you speak to people, as to the reason he's holding so steadily in that number one position in the polls? >> reporter: well, you know, part of the reason why is because his rivals have been attacking one another. if you're looking at what's happening in the last couple days, michele bachmann has been going after ron paul. rick perry has been going after rick santorum, and newt gingrich is insisting on staying positive in his campaign. all of that has directed the political fire away from mitt romney, and that's only helped his campaign. that's basically allowed him to go after president obama, something he did earlier this morning at a stop just after sunrise. >> we have a choice in this coming election of what kind of america we're going to have. it's not just about replacing the president, it's about saving the soul of america. >> reporter: it's that kind of
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rhetoric directed at the president, saving the soul of america, those are pretty har, words to be saying on the presidential campaign trail. he does it just about every campaign stop. the other thing he's been doing is really sort of burnishing his tea party credentials. at this stop, just a few moments ago, and earlier yesterday, he was talking about cutting federal programs that tea partiers would love to cut. federal programs of pbs, he made the rounds in the twitter verse that he's not going to kill big bird, he's just going to make sesame street run ads, that's the kind of red meat tea partiers love to hear out here. >> thank you, jim. let's go back to that poll. remember yesterday we talked about the race to finish third in iowa? as if on que, our latest survey includes a really big surprise. see the third name there? that's rick santor umt, the former two-term senator from
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pennsylvania. suddenly he is making a push to finish third in iowa, and, thus, join the packs of the upper echelon. joe johns with us from iowa. we're going to get to the horse race element of this in a moment, but first, let's listen to rick santorum on the campaigning trail today. >> we have an administration going out and undercutting -- it's a war against poor children. is it war against children who need moms and dads? >> okay, some harsh words for the obama administration. santorum has to be happy with his third place right now, right joe? >> i think he's happy. i talked to him a little while ago. he's not just surging in the polls, he's getting a fund raising boost too. he told me at his biggest fund-raising day online, yesterday apparently after this poll came out. that's all good news for him. but the other thing that come as long with moving up a few notches in the polls here in
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iowa, you also come under attack by some of your rivals, that was evidenced today, an attack from rick perry, talking about the fact that rick santorum, number one asked for something like a billion dollars in earmarks, when he was in the united states congress, which is something that santorum says, yeah,dy it, and also questioning the fact that rick santorum lost by a wide margin his last re-election race in 2006. which raises the question, if you can't win your own home state, how do you expect to be the nominee and win all of the united states. rick santorum is having a good day today nonetheless, just like all the other people who have gotten their day in the sun. he's also seeing some of the problems associated with that, isha. >> indeed, you're in the spotlight, you open yourself up. let's take a closer look at who the man himself is, he calls himself the race's true conservative. he's 53 years old, he served
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four years in the house of representatives, 12 years in the senate. he is married, he has seven children. he's quick to talk about his family's modest roots in western pennsylvania. >> my grandfather used to say they lived in a company town, got paid with company stamps to shop at the company store. i remember going back and visiting that house, and they lived at least a quarter mile walk for any fresh water, out house, the whole nine yards. really grew up very humble. >> it seems as iff the calculation is to play the role, i'm a guy just like you. >> yeah, and he speaks the language of conservative voters, especially in iowa. those christian conservatives, if you will. the social conservatives, the evangelicals, they understand where rick santor sum coming
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from. he understands where they're coming from. which makes it fascinating that he's languished in the polls for as long as he had. he's moved from 5% all the way up to 16% on our latest poll. you have to ask, what took so long for these voters here to get there? i quizzed him a little built about that today. he says it's a weeding out process, and he says iowa ans are doing what they're supposed to two, which is look at him and compare him to some of the others in the field, and they're coming to the conclusion that perhaps they like him better now than they did when they were first introduced to him. >> yeah, and to put a finer point on that, he's trading his sights on the big game and not pulling punches. here he is again today. >> very stark contrast with governor romney, and me on the issue of health care, and the issue of cap and trade and global warming, moral cultural
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issues. ron paul on national security, there's a lot of contrast. i've said from the very beginning. we're the consistent conservative who has the track record. >> well, he's clearly peaking at the right time. he's confident and says that, you you know, they're the right people to surge. but did anyone else see this come something as you speak to analysts and other folks on the ground there. has this come as a surprise? >> yeah, it's come as a surprise to a lot of people, particularly the people who didn't watch very closely, but the fact of the matter,a lot of people thought he was underperforming in the polls, and given the iowa demographic, a lot of people expected him to do better. that said, you you know, the big question for him is, if he does have a good performance here, what's his path. he's been out there in some of these other states, new hampshire, certainly south carolina. and he's hoping to do well certainly in south carolina, because there like here, there are a lot of evangelical voters
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who may be taking a long look at him, especially given what's happened to the other republicans in the field so far. >> joe johns joining us from iowa. thanks. tune in next week for the country's first vote in the presidential race. america's choice 2012, live keith of the iowa caucuses begins tuesday night, january 3rd at 7:00 eastern. well, courage doesn't even begin to describe this next story. a pregnant 17-year-old fighting brain cancer decides to stop chemo in order to save the life of her unborn child. the teenaged girl died. we're going to hear from her mother next. ok! who gets occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating? get ahead of it! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defend against digestive issues
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now the story of a teen pregnant mother's bravery during her bout with cancer. she died after battling brain cancer and stopping treatment in order to save the life of her unborn baby. we talked with her mother about how the family's been cope iing since her daughter's death. >> i think it rocks that it went nationwide because the world needs to see that not everybody is selfish. >> it's that message of selflessness that jenny's family
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and friends hope people across the country learn from her death. she died on november 22nd, just a little more than a month ago. the battle for her life started in october of 2010. she was diagnosed with grade three brain cancer and given two years to live. >> they told her that she might not ever be able to have kids. >> in march they found out her tumors were shrinking. one night her mother heard her crying in her room. she was pregnant. >> she was pretty scared, because the baby had been through two rounds of chemo from march and april, and she was just about to start another round. >> scared of the facts and committed to the life of her child, jenny decided to stop chemo, she gave birth to her son chad michael. he's named after jenny and her
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boyfriend's fathers. her brain tumors progressed and no amount of treatment could save her. >> i'm so glad in a we have chad he here. >> but i want jenny here to take care of him. >> reporter: despite the tears, is jenny's humor and toughness that the family remembers, and the pride they feel for that message of selflessness she said to the world. >> you can tell everyone
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they're cute. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. rick santorum's numbers are moving up in iowa. while jon huntsman gains support in new hampshire. wolf blitzer joins us now with a
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politics update. we know rick santorum has visited all nine counties in iowa. what's your thought? do you think this could be the reasoning for his climb in the polls? >> all 99 counties in iowa. he's the first to do so, michele bachmann is about to do the same thing. one of the factors, one of the major reasons he's done well in iowa. we spent a lot of time there, he's moving around, evangelical christians, conservative christians, they're joining him. he's gotten some key endorsements in recent days. if you take a look at our most recent poll now compared to early december, it seems almost all of that loss that newt gingrich has suffered and newt gingrich has suffered dramatically over the past few weeks, that seems to be translating, at least a lot of it, into support for rick santorum, the former republican senator from pennsylvania. it's partially the endorsements, partially a lot of the work, but a lot of social conservatives, religious conservatives vote,
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participate in these iowa caucuses, and he's taking advantage of that, he's one of them. and they seem to like what he's saying. he's doing well. >> same with the issue of endorsements, that brings me to michele bachmann. huntsman and santorum gained support while bachman has lost a key adviser whose gone on to endorse ron paul. how will this affect her campaign? >> i think it's going to hurt her campaign. we're going to talk about that in the situation room. her numbers are not very good right now, let's not forget it was only in august, at the iowa straw pole, she was the big winner, born in iowa, she now represents a congressional district from neighboring minnesota. she spends an enormous amount of time there. if she doesn't do well in iowa, it could be the end of her campaign. she's not going to do well in new hampshire, if you take a look at all the polls there, she would have to jump over too south carolina. but nikki haley the governor of
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south carolina endorsed mitt romney for the republican nomination. i know that was a severe set back for michele bachmann. in new hampshire, watch john huntses man, he's doing a lot better, he's not even playing in iowa. the former utah governor is very much involved in new hampshire, and he's up in the low double-digits in our last poll there right now. if he continues to improve, those are presumably votes that would go to mitt romney. mitt romney in this latest poll is way ahead in new hampshire, he almost lives there, as you know, having been the governor of neighboring massachusetts. mid romney will do well in new hampshire, but then it will be out to south carolina, new hampshire and the process will continue. we've lost herman cain, isha, i assume after with a wash one or two of these republican candidates are going to drop out and then will be down to five, four, three, two. you get the point.
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>> iowa is good for whittling down the field. >> yes. >> you can watch continuing live coverage of the candidates campaigning on cnn.com leading up to the iowa caucuses tuesday. tune in next week for the country's third vote. live coverage of the iowa caucuses begins tuesday night january 3rd at 7:00 p.m. eastern. from tsunamis to cell phones to a wounded congresswoman, there were many stories from the world of medicine that affected our lives in 2011. and our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta was in the middle of a lot of them. >> january 8th, gunfire at a campaign event for congresswoman gabrielle giffords. >> is anyone injured? did you say gabrielle giffords was hit? >> she was hit. she's breathing, she still has a pulse. >> the congresswoman was shot in the head, but survives.
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>> i saw that trajectory of where one hole was and where the other hole was, i was like oh, my gosh, however -- >> it was so far apart. i mean, it wasn't a little thing, went through a lot. >> three and a half months later, the first public steps in the skong woman's remarkable recovery. in 2011 i tried to put a spotlight on big hits in the brain, finding growing evidence that football puts young people at serious risk, and professional players as well. in february, a former chicago bears safety committed suicide, and he left his brain to scientific research. when the findings came back, his brain had tell tale signs of a chronic injury. the nfl put in new rules to protect its players. then it was march, and i witnessed the aftermath of an astonishing disaster in japan.
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the first hours on the ground were just scary. >> we are going to move at this point. these seem like official warnings now. >> there was no tsunami, we were safe. more than 16,000 people lost their lives, and the district around fukushima will be unlivable for years to come. in may the world health organization said cell phones might cause brain cancer. brain scans can spot the impact of radiation from phones. it doesn't mean cell phones are dangerous, but to be on the safe side, use an ear piece. july brought questions about cancer and 9/11, just ahead of the tenth anniversary of the attacks. there's not strong evidence connecting dust from the fallen twin towers and cancer. just a month later, a big study
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of new york city firefighters found the opposite. >> we found a 19% increase in all cancers in our exposed firefighters as compared to our nonexposed firefighters. >> the decision on compensation could still be reversed. in october the spotlight landed on the psa test to detect prostate cancer. a federal advisory panel said the psa test just isn't worth it. and then november, exciting news of a stem cell breakthrough. using infusions of a patient's own stem cells. one study found they could regrow dead heart tissue. one study found the cells could reverse heart failure. the fight over the health care law. critics call it obama care. >> and i've said time and again. obama care is bad news. it's unconstitutional. it costs way too much money, a
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trillion dollars, and if i'm president of the united states, i will repeal it for the american people. >> in november, the supreme court decided to decide on the country's fate next year. a laser light is flashing into a cockpit. that's what happened near bush international airport in houston texas. straight ahead, we'll talk about the extreme danger this means for planes full of people. plus, check out this video. a man crashing into seemingly random cars over and over again. we have the story behind the pictures for you. you won't want to miss it. first, who's making news today with this line? would it be strange if the u.s. had developed a technology to induce cancer and for no one to know it? i don't know, i'm just putting the thought out there?
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the person behind that statement after a break 37 through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more . ome of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said,
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"someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson.
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who said this, would it be strange if the united states had developed a technology to induce cancer and for no one to know it? i don't know, i'm just putting the thought out there. that was hugo chavez, pointing out the fact that five current or former latin american presidents have cancer including
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himself, and as we learned this week, argentina's president who just went public about her thyroid cancer. now, it's a little hard to tell precisely what to make of this, the faa says a commercial plane flying into houston tuesday evening had its cockpit lit up by a laser aimed from outside. according to the faa, that's 70 such incidents in houston this year. keep in mind those lasers can cause permanent eye damage. joining us now from washington, former acting director of the faa. thank you for joining us. let me start by getting you to break down for our viewers, how this is way more than just an annoyance. this is something that could cause real tragedy. real trouble? >> that's right, isha. knees aren't your typical laser pointers you see in a classroom. these are heavy duty, highpowered lasers that can go for several miles into the
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skies. they can cause permanent eye damage. they can certainly be a distraction in the cockpit, and when you're talking about hitting an airplane on approach and arrival, that's the most critical phase of flight in the cockpit. so anything that's going to disrupt the pilots at that point in time is a big safety issue for the passengers on board. what do you make of the fact that we're seeing or hearing more incidents of these beams being shown on airplanes? >> what's troubling about houston is that houston over the last two years is close to doubling the number of incidents. and when you look nationwide, you see a similar trend. the faa started gathering information on laser sites or laser incidents, they had about 300 back in 2005. last year that number was over 2800, and year to date this year, it's almost 3800 incidents. so it's an increasing trend
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nationwide that's a real safety problem in the skies. >> just so we can be clear. from your knowledge of the subject. there is no other explanation. i mean, in your view this is something that is done by people with malicious intent? >> no, i think a lot of these people don't know what they're doing. they don't understand the impact these lasers have on pie loots in the cockpit, and, you know, frankly, a lot of them are probably out there just goofing off at night. but they're causing big problems, and so much so that the faa this year began penalizing people for this type of activity. subject to an $11,000 fine per incident. there are currently 18 enforcement cases open against folks who use these lasers, pointing them at aircraft. >> we appreciate you joining us today and giving us insight into all of this. it's scary stuff. appreciate it, thank you. >> thank you. take a look at this crazy scene out of centennial
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colorado. this is no accident. you see that? it's some guy going on a rampage trying to find cars to run into. he totalled one car and hit five others. he even tried to hit a few pedestrians. nobody was hurt thankfully. the suspect is in jail on $50,000 bond. and now this -- anger explodes in arizona over mexican-american studies. now the state faces millions of dollars in penalties. find out why next. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil
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but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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a judge in arizona says a mexican studies course in tucson mexican schools violates state law. if the school district doesn't change the course, risks losing $15 million a year in state funding. the legal battle is far from over. some teachers are fighting back in federal court alleging racial bias and anti-hispanic sentiments. let's give our viewers some background. tell us about these courses in and of themselves, and what on the face of it they teach? >> for years the ethnic studies program in the tucson unified
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school district has been a light thing rod for critics, it prompted the state of arizona, to outlaw teachings that promote the overthrow of the u.s. government, resentment against any race, are designed primarily for any ethnic group or stress ethnic solidarity. as you mentioned, a judge has ruled that the mexican american ethnic studies program in tucson does violate that law. now, i'll read from part of the ruling, we can show it on the screen as well. teaching oppression objectively is quite different than actively presenting material in a biassed political and emotional when i charged manner, which is what occurred in those classes. teaching in such a manner promotes social or political activism against white people problem. moats racial resentment and add vow indicates solidarity. now, supporters of these ethnic studies programs denied that that's what's being taught. they say they are an important tool to help latino students do better in school.
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as you mentioned, isha, if the district does not stop the program, could lose $15 million a year in state funding. >> we're a split board, split on most issues. split on this irk u for sure. we're waiting to hear what the federal kwourt is going to say about this same issue. i hope my colleagues would allow that due process to go forward before we make decisions on what we're going to do with our courses. >> i would like to start over with a program that serves more of the 30,000 latino students we have in the district. it's always been a boutique program with a small member of students. >> this dispute is far from over. arizona school superintendent now has 30 days to decide if he will accept that judge's ruling. if he does, the district itself can then appeal to a higher court. >> thank you.